Golden Rule: The Joy of Giving

Matthew 7:12 says “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”  

Giving GiftsChristmas is a time of giving, yes and receiving but essentially a time of giving. Those who follow the Golden Rule must absolutely love this time of year because it means they really can give and give and give because it is what they would expect others to do for them. True followers of the Golden Rule though are not like spoilt kids, spoilt kids give to expect something back and cry like babies when they don’t. True Golden Rule followers don’t expect others to give something back, sometimes they give knowing full well the recipient of their giving can never repay the gift. True Golden Rule followers know the secret to giving that many don’t.

Giving and not expecting a like for like return comes from the heart. If you are giving in the hope of an exchange gift coming back forget it, you are not following the Golden Rule you are following a selfish, greedy and worldly way. Even giving then not receiving and hoping the person now feels guilty and will do something out of that guilt is wrong, especially at Christmas.

Christmas is a time for giving and the secret the Golden Rule followers exploit at this time of year is just that. Giving should give you immense satisfaction, it should not be boasting.  True Golden Rule followers understand Matthew 6:2  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” That is their secret.  They know the feeling inside and the eternal reward is greater than anything else.  This is not to say they do not receive, far from it, Golden Rule followers often get rewards that far outpay what they have given and pay in ways that are unexpected, outrageous or even miraculous to the point of impossible.

There is no magic in their giving, the giving looks like any other giving but it is how and why they give that makes it so rewarding for them.  They give not because they can but because it is the right thing to do, they give from the heart, they do not boast or make a big noise out of their giving and they give expecting nothing, not a cent, not even a smile back in return. It is unconditional living and they have been conditioned through this giving and, whilst they never tell, they get returns that cannot be measured in the way most people measure a return.

Unconditional and selfless to the point of being almost selfish giving is where the Golden Rule pays off. The Golden rules says “expect others to do unto you”, it doesn’t say anyone must or even will but leaves the response to giving up to them.

Unconditional Giving is what Christmas should be. Christmas is actually the beginning of the end, today we know the story before it was written back then, we know that the birth of a child ends in tragedy, heartache, blood, sweat and tears on a cross on a hill called Calvary.  Christ, the son of God was given out of love, given not asking for anything in return just a hope, not even an expectation that people, but just a hope that the world would listen.  Two Thousand years later are we listening?

The song “While you were sleeping” by Casting crowns pretty much says we are not listening. These lyrics point a finger at those who have not seen or reacted to the gift that was given like no other gift has ever been given:

United States of America

Looks like another silent night

As we're sung to sleep by philosophies

That save the trees and kill the children

And while we're lying in the dark

There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky

For the Bridegroom has returned

And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping

Will Jesus come again

And leave us slumbering where we lay

America, will we go down in history

As a nation with no room for its King

Will we be sleeping

Will we be sleeping

United States of America

Looks like another silent night

Giving, in terms of the Golden Rule at Christmas really does mean giving from the heart, giving because you care and giving selflessly.  Giving really is better than receiving, at Christmas time the giving and the receiving is all part of the modern celebration and there is always that someone, someone like me, who loves the giving more than the receiving. The reward for that person comes from the smiles on the faces of others; he doesn’t expect reward because his reward came on a cross when the baby that was born in a manager died to save the world.  No gift can ever outgive that, the gift of life received through the shedding of blood.

Do you look forward to Christmas because of receiving or giving?

The world today is a mess, we are all chasing the next dollar to pay the next bill and yet we barely pause to consider the gift we were all given two thousand years ago. We have all received more than enough so surely we can give to others from the heart. Don’t go giving cheap Chinese plastic if you are giving, give from the heart, give something of value, something that will show you care give something with meaning that reminds you of Matthew 7:12 and reminds the one you love of the one that loves them more than any other.  Remind them they have a heavenly father who sent his son to die so that they may have life.

Merry Christmas Everyone.


Matt Newnham is a Christian, Writer and Speaker. He is a single father and lives in Cape Town, South Africa. Matt is passionate about life and success and his ability to touch the heart of readers has earned him the title “The Master of Emotional Appeal” Follow Matt on Twitter @MattNewnhamZA and on his Facebook Page

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